Author Topic: Hubitat  (Read 3585 times)

rcjordan

  • I'm consulting the authorities on the subject
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8306
  • Debbie says...
    • View Profile
Hubitat
« on: November 09, 2018, 02:27:44 PM »
As mentioned in another thread, I'm going with the recent-entry Hubitat system as it's the only one I found that is

- Mostly off-the-shelf. Not hack-it-yourself like Rpi/HomeAssistant/etc
- Uses both Zwave and Zigbee commonly available devices from multiple manufacturers. Not proprietary brands
- **Local network**
- Robust forums.  Responsive support.
- BONUS #1: Though the system is local, Hubitat does host a web-accessible copy of your system UI dashboard.
- Bonus #2: The UI dashboard is DIY-built and very customizable with a wysiwyg editor.
<added> - Some Alexa integration available

I'm still a noob in smarthome tech, and I've stumbled across a few fundamentals that would have helped to know from the git-go.  A month ago I found that newer Zwave devices form a mesh network, so most new devices can act as a repeater.   Yesterday, I found that most new Zigbee devices can also act as repeaters for the zigbee signal. This helps in larger installations with devices located a distance from the system antenna.  Of the two Z-signal types, zigbee seems to be the more robust and has greater range, but zwave seems to be the more popular --not sure why.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 02:39:30 PM by rcjordan »

rcjordan

  • I'm consulting the authorities on the subject
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8306
  • Debbie says...
    • View Profile
Re: Hubitat
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2018, 01:49:07 PM »
>mesh

If I'd grasped the idea of the zigbee/zwave mesh when first thinking about smarthome (SH) tech, it would have been a big help getting over the the dumbest-guy problem.  Thinking about how & where the mesh devices with repeaters might be located makes the layout much easier --particularly for remote nooks and crannies in a physically large, sprawling installation (and possibly detached buildings).

Tested: I put the usb zigbee-zwave antenna dongle on a 25' extension cable and it worked fine. This adds a lot of flexibility in getting the transmitter into a good spot.  BTW, in the UK the Hubitat is shipped with 2 dongles, one for zigbee, one for zwave and both are installed on the two available usb ports. Dunno why it's different there, Rupert.

rcjordan

  • I'm consulting the authorities on the subject
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8306
  • Debbie says...
    • View Profile
Re: Hubitat
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2018, 02:13:31 PM »
>forums
> commonly available devices

Yesterday, they pointed me to a big box chain that has been closing out their white-labeled, hub-dependent z-z devices as the market is now strongly going cloud-based with apps.  Scored 3 motion detectors for $15 each.  Though prices for the LAN devices have generally been slightly less than cloud-app devices anyway (ballpark $30).

>mesh
They also pointed me to a receptacle that is zigbee-controlled with repeater but also carries a hidden zwave repeater ($30).  This is handy!
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 02:21:33 PM by rcjordan »

rcjordan

  • I'm consulting the authorities on the subject
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8306
  • Debbie says...
    • View Profile
Re: Hubitat
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2018, 06:50:36 PM »
I find z-wave pairing to be flakey and may require additional maintenance to keep the mesh intact.  Reading around, I see posts about repairing the zwave mesh fairly frequently.  Zigbee, otoh, just seems to work.  I'm beginning to think that that's why Amazon went with the zigbee platform on the Echo Plus even though the masses wanted zwave.  I'm going zigbee whenever possible.

For keeping circuitry in standard mode, the only option I've been able to find is an overlay switch.  I'd dismissed them before due to their requiring batteries and the clunky aesthetics.  But, they are zigbee and have been now added to the Hubitat device list, which means they could be local only. I've ordered one to play with on the Hubitat sometime in the future.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B079M178GW/

While we're on the topic of overlays, here's one for pushing buttons

MicroBot Push - Wireless Robotic Button Pusher Smart Home Automation
https://www.amazon.com/MicroBot-Push-Wireless-Automation-Platinum/dp/B01FQN2T2W/

<added>
There was a homeautomation thread on reddit that talked about the money and overwhelming logistics of installing lighting control in an existing home.  It eventually became a sort of "count the switches you can see from one spot" thread.  I have a semi-open floor plan downstairs where we spend most of our leisure & meal time. From the dining table, I count 23 24 switches and 3 fan controllers.

<added2>
I could not get the above Third Reality overlay switch to work on a toggle switch (tried 2 different brands), the actuator just didn't have enough oomph. It works fine on paddle-style switches.

<added3>
Zigbee vs Z-Wave: Two big smart home standards explored
https://www.the-ambient.com/guides/zigbee-vs-z-wave-298

« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 05:43:06 PM by rcjordan »

rcjordan

  • I'm consulting the authorities on the subject
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8306
  • Debbie says...
    • View Profile
Re: Hubitat
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2018, 10:03:01 PM »
Z-wave has a lag, this is particularly noticeable and potentially annoying in motion detectors.

ergophobe

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4868
    • View Profile
Re: Hubitat
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2018, 01:27:09 AM »
Despite all this, I'm going mass market... TP-Link light switch, and God save me, Nest E thermostat - on sale, $130 plus $50 rebate from PGE - so $80 + tax.

rcjordan

  • I'm consulting the authorities on the subject
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8306
  • Debbie says...
    • View Profile
Re: Hubitat
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2018, 02:17:35 AM »
I have two Ecobee 4 tstats on the cloud and do not plan to change them to Hubitat, even though the devs have built a hubitat-native module for it.  Reason: WAF is high as-is, so anything I do locally would have to be extraordinarily good.  That, and the fact that I don't want to support them, they work great without me being involved.

>tp-link

I have two TP-L s/pole switches currently used as timeclocks for water heaters, they've also performed well.  But their functionality is simplistic and easy to do on Hubitat, so I do plan to migrate that over to local zigbee switches.

BTW, the installation is going well here. I'm muddling though and have gotten switches, appliance modules, and motion detectors installed and working.  I'm currently grinding through a security module the devs have built.

Rupert

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2409
  • George in a previous life.
    • View Profile
    • SuitsMen
Re: Hubitat
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2018, 02:18:07 PM »
Just found this thread :)  Thanks!
... Make sure you live before you die.

rcjordan

  • I'm consulting the authorities on the subject
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8306
  • Debbie says...
    • View Profile
Re: Hubitat
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2018, 03:58:08 PM »
>z-wave flakey

Z-wave devices all have push-buttons on them in order to re-pair the device with the hub. Zigbee devices have zero buttons as pairing/re-pairing is triggered at device power-on. Z-wave hubs have routines to run in order to rebuild the zwave mesh. If you're chasing a set-it-and-forget-it system, zigbee is the way to go  If you like setting yourself up for niggly future maintenance issues, go zwave.

Tips:
- Houses wired with in-wall paddle fan speed controls are likely to have a neutral present in the switch box.
- Switch boxes with multiple single-pole switches are good prospects for having a neutral present.


>Bonus
Hubitat has incorporated Pushover (pushover.net) for ultra-cheap, $5 lifetime, notifications.  It also allows 10 sms messages per day.

<added>
FWIW, the Hubitat (HT) developer and customer bases are briming with Samsung Smartthings (ST) expats, also some Vera.  As ST has been the hot-hot-hot platform on the consumer side for the last 18 months, HT focuses a lot on porting over their devices and routines. HT has grown enough legs in the last 3 months that it's being mentioned in the ST forums fairly frequently. I'm finding it there when I do deep searches for features and documentation.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2018, 04:46:56 PM by rcjordan »

ergophobe

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4868
    • View Profile
Re: Hubitat
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2018, 01:44:29 AM »
I have two Ecobee 4 tstats on the cloud

Do you know about milivolt thermostats? Nest can't do it. These would be thermostats that handle things like gas fireplaces that have better backup so they can start when the power is out.

PS... lots of articles about achieving this with a Nest and fan relay or some setup like that. I was curious if you had come across anything that did it "natively" (presumably with an additional power source to power the thermostat, but that's no concern - the location I would put it has easy access for adding line voltage to the thermostat location).
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 01:47:44 AM by ergophobe »

rcjordan

  • I'm consulting the authorities on the subject
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8306
  • Debbie says...
    • View Profile
Re: Hubitat
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2018, 02:05:37 AM »
>millivolt

None natively, no.  Plenty of hacks with dry contacts (mostly garage door control), move of those available are zwave. Not sure if that helps.

Like so:
https://community.smartthings.com/t/no-voltage-dry-contact-relay/56929

ergophobe

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4868
    • View Profile
Re: Hubitat
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2018, 02:11:10 AM »
Just found this which solves the relatively difficult problem of managing mini splits.

https://flair.co/products/puck

Typically, mini splits have only a remote control thermostat and it is line of sight. I looked into trying to get a wired thermostat and it was really complicated with a million model numbers I couldn't find in my product info and the total cost was something like $700-$1000.

This puck is $99 and seem to just use the same IR signal as the Fujitsu controller.

This lets you run a minisplit off a Nest
https://coolautomation.com/support/nest/

ergophobe

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4868
    • View Profile
Re: Hubitat
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2018, 02:13:01 AM »
>>hacks

I've seen those. It's just one additional level of trouble. I'll start with the Nest and the Puck and see how that goes.

BTW - I realize my responses have nothing to do with Hubitat, but I can't track all of the home automation threads anymore!

So

rcjordan

  • I'm consulting the authorities on the subject
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8306
  • Debbie says...
    • View Profile
Re: Hubitat
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2018, 08:51:59 PM »
Error: I thought that smart in-wall switches would gracefully degrade to become dumb -but still mechanically functional- switches when the hub fails or is removed.  They, or at least the GE/Jasco zigbee switches I have, do not function at all without a hub.

rcjordan

  • I'm consulting the authorities on the subject
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8306
  • Debbie says...
    • View Profile
Re: Hubitat
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2018, 01:14:07 AM »
I just got their Alexa skill working.  This is pretty awesome.